The Los Angeles Chargers close out the preseason with a Thursday night showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff from Levi’s Stadium is set for 7:00pm PT.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Detrez Newsome aims to continue his strong preseason against the 49ers. The undrafted free agent out of Western Carolina has shouldered the load for the Bolts thus far as his 35 carries more than doubles the next closest player (Melvin Gordon – 15). Newsome has gained 115 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. However, he’s been equally impressive in the passing game, hauling in a team-high nine passes for 66 yards. Meanwhile, wide receivers Geremy Davis and Artavis Scott look to end the preseason on a high note. Davis has caught seven passes for a team-high 105 yards and one touchdown while Scott has hauled in eight passes for 82 yards.
On Offense for the 49ers
The battle to back up Jimmy Garoppolo will be front and center, led by C.J. Beathard. The 49ers’ third-round pick from a year ago, Beathard has completed 27 of 45 attempts (60.0 percent) this preseason for a team-leading 346 yards. The quarterback appeared in seven games last year with five starts, completing 123 of 224 passes for 1,430 yards and four touchdowns. His attempts, completions and passing yards set franchise records, which is quite the accomplishment for a team that boasts Hall of Famers such as Joe Montana and Steve Young. Meanwhile, Alfred Morris has impressed since joining San Francisco as the running back has carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards (4.9 ypc).
On Defense for the Chargers
Derwin James, Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White are three rookies who’ve seen a ton of valuable reps through three games. Week 4 will provide one last tune-up for the team’s draft picks as they prepare for the regular season opener. Another young player who continues to get better each week is Isaac Rochell. The second-year defensive end leads the Bolts with 2.0 sacks and ranks second with 10 tackles as he’s seen extended time with the starters.
On Defense for the 49ers
Jeremiah Attaochu looks to wreak havoc on his former team after notching a sack a week ago vs. the Colts. Overall, San Francisco will look to have the same success against the run that they had against Indianapolis as they held the Colts to just 80 yards on the ground. It was a continuation of their success from a year ago as they held their opponent to under 100 yards seven times in 2017. Moreover, they closed the year giving up fewer than 100 yards on the ground in five straight games, tying for the longest streak in the NFL all year.
For the fourth-straight preseason, the Chargers and 49ers will close out the exhibition schedule against each other. The Bolts have fallen in the preseason finale in each of those three years, including last season by the score of 23-13 in San Francisco. The Chargers hold a 7-6 regular season advantage while the 49ers sport a 26-20 series lead in the preseason. The two teams met in Super Bowl XXIX, a 49-26 win for San Francisco.
By the Numbers
In 2017, the Chargers ranked fourth in total offense (376.6 yards per game), first in passing (276.9 ypg), 24th in rushing (99.7 ypg) and 13th in points (22.2). The 49ers ranked 12th in total offense (349.2 ypg), ninth in passing (245.3 ypg), 21st in rushing (103.9 ypg) and 20th in points (20.7).
Defensively, the Bolts ranked 15th in total defense (328.4 ypg), third in passing (197.2 ypg), 31st in rushing (131.1 ypg) and third in points allowed (17.0). San Francisco ranked 24th in total defense (351.6 ypg), 22nd in passing (235.2 ypg), 22nd in rushing (116.3 ypg) and 25th in points allowed (23.9).
Chargers TE J’Ron Hamm was on the 49ers roster from 2015-16.
49ers DE Jeremiah Attaochu played for the Chargers from 2014-17.
DB Dexter McCoil played with the Chargers for two seasons (2016-17).
LB Korey Toomer played for the Chargers from 2016-17.
LS/TE Kyle Nelson was on the Chargers roster in 2012.
Assistant Special Teams Coach Stan Kwan was on the Chargers coaching staff from 1991-96, serving as an assistant coach/assistant special teams coach.
CBS – Spero Dedes (play-by-play), LaDainian Tomlinson (analyst) and Hayley Elwood (sideline)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Daniel Jeremiah (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 – Mario Solis (play-by-play) and Jorge Villanueva (analyst)